23 Masvingo based organizations trained on Parliamentary engagement

On the 5th of September 2017, the Institute for Community Development in Zimbabwe (ICODZim) in partnership with Southern Parliamentary Support Trust organized a half day training on Parliamentary Engagement and Petition Writing for 23 organizations from Masvingo Province.

The 23 organizations  included, National Council of Disabled Persons of Zimbabwe , Girl Child Empowerment, Zimcet, Zimbabwe Peace Project, Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (Chiredzi), Youth Nad  Chiredzi, Masvingo Mirror, Community Working Group on health, Tell Zim, MURRA,  Masvingo Residents Trust, My age Zimbabwe Trust, COTRAD amongst others.
Concepts covered during the training included public engagement of parliament under the 2013 constitution, the petition process and Constitutional mandate of the Parliament and its legislative function and purpose.
The participants were taken through public participation in the law-making process,

  • Stages of Bills in the house
  • Oversight function of the Parliament
  • Powers of Parliament Committees
  • Representative function and engagement mechanisms and strategies.

An assessment conducted jointly by SAPST and ICODZim prior to the training revealed that 85% of the participants did not know how to engage with the parliament of Zimbabwe and 96% of the participants after the training possessed the knowledge on how to engage as well as petition parliament of Zimbabwe.

During the training participants highlighted that the timing and adverts for parliamentary consultative meetings were at times not clearly communicated with venues and times changing at last minute resulting in few citizen turnout. Failure to priorities national interest over party interest by politicians and political parties was highlighted as one of the biggest impediment for meaningful engagement between citizens and parliament of Zimbabwe.
During the training participants were urged to engage the Parliament of Zimbabwe in order to influence change rather than assuming that government is rigid without trying first. By the end of the training possible petition issues were identified and ICODZim will partner with some of the organizations to submit petitions on critical matters and issues affecting the people of Masvingo Province.

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